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The Spring of the Ram: The House of Niccolo Paperback – 3 Nov 1988


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The Spring of the Ram: The House of Niccolo + Race Of Scorpions: The House of Noccolo, Vol. 3 (The House of Niccolo) + Niccolo Rising: The House of Niccolo
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (3 Nov 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140113592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140113594
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Dorothy Dunnett is the author of the world famous Lymond Chronicles set during the sixteenth century, as well as the on-going House of Niccolo series. She was awarded the OBE for services to literature in 1992. She lives in Edinburgh.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By philipagnew@aol.com on 29 May 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the second in the series of 'The House of Niccolo'. This time the author takes the central character, Nicholas - an apprentice who has risen through marriage to head a trading company - to an adventure in the last outpost of western culture in the East, Trebizond. The story flows with more twists and turns than one would expect. Through competition from his arch rival Pagano Doria, and mixing with emperors, Nicholas has to use all his growing skills in intrique and busines, to keep on the pathway of survival and profit. This is a great book, as soon as I had finished it, the next in the series was ordered.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Volume two of the Niccolo-series sees Niccolo/Nicholas setting out for the Ottoman empire as the head of the Charetty trader-family to outdo all rival merchants with the incomparable gusto he already demonstrated in "Niccolo Rising".

As the first volume, and all the following, this is a historical novel of a breathtaking depth and beauty. Do yourself a favour, buy them all in a single go and then just sit down and enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Adams Esq on 19 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
Dorothy Dunnett has done it again! Another multi coloured gloriously detailed picture of a long gone civilization peopled by complex and believable human beings giving yet another utterly enjoyable read.The greatest writer of historical novels!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. C. Pitts on 14 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Dorothy Dunnett for at least 4 decades...since I found the Lymond series in my local library. I read all I could find then bought them for myself. Having them on my kindle has been a real joy... I am now reading the Niccolo series for about the fourth time and the books never cease to entertain and challenge.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 May 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the second volume of Dunnett's second great series built around the enigmatic Nicholas, once a dyer's apprentice in Bruges, and now the leader of a trading company setting up business in Trebizond, the last outpost of the Byzantine empire, on behalf of the Medici.

After the domestic beginning of the series (Niccolo Rising) this allows Nicholas, still only 20, to spread his wings and try his skills in a wider world. But he is as dangerous as the sphere in which he is entering, and his friends/watchers don't know whether to trust him, cage him, or follow him.

Full of intrigue, ambiguities, plot-lines, marvellous characters and lush writing, Dunnett does this like no-one else. Sophisticated and convoluted plots mean you have to read her books more than once to understand the intricacies of the story, but as any of her fans will say, that's no hardship. She also manages like almost no-one else to wrong-foot the reader so that just when you think you know what's happening and can guess the next event Dunnett pulls out a magnificent and audacious turn in the story that leaves you breathless but which is so logical and right that you can't imagine why you didn't see it coming. The end of this novel is like that, and yet so beautifully written that the the tension between what is happening and the way it's written is just stunning. Get the next volume before you read the end (Race of Scorpions) as you won't be able to wait to see where Nicholas goes next.

A far cry from the blander and easier historical fiction of a Gregory or Chadwick, this is fiction for adults.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Penfold on 21 Aug 2005
Format: Hardcover
An excellent read, absorbing and full of detail. I never fully understood the relationship between Nicolas and Marion, maybe I shall find out the next time. I will read this again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writing is stunning and the scholarship and historical detail are outstanding. Most of all the characters are mesmerising, especially of course Nicholas. This is my second read of the series and I Had forgotten so much of the plotting and characterisation. Such a pleasure to reacquaint myself with this engrossing world
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By Lizziejwj on 19 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For me Dorothy Dunnett' s Lymond and Niccolo series are the absolute pinnacle of historical fiction - so far above other writers in sheer scope, breadth of knowledge as to be on another plane altogether - her characters live in my head permanently .
They are my 'if you could only read one author' choice
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